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PHYS 2500 and 3870/3880: Journals & Books & Reference Sources

Information Resources for Physics 2500 & 3870/3889 [PHYS|2500/3870/3880]

Journals to Get You Started

A brief list of journals best suited to the needs of students in Physics 2500 and 3870/3880 is given below.  These journals were selected for the level and focus of their content.  The list below includes the coverage available through the link.  Several have much deeper online coverage through a different provider.  Check the Electronic Journals Link to see full coverage.


Need to find a specific journal?

You can search for a specific journal on the library website. If you need help finding specific journals check out our FAQ on this topic.  


This is trickier, but you ARE Physics Students!  This search requires you to enter a string in the advanced search screen in Scopus, but you will be able to search further back into the literature.

Go to Scopus

Click on the Advanced link near the top and enter the search below:

( ISSN ( 0002-9505  OR  1943-2909 )  OR  ISSN ( 0031-9228  OR  1945-0699 )  OR  ISSN ( 1946-7087  OR  0036-8733 )  OR  ISSN ( 0036-8423  OR  1943-0930 ) ) 

scopus advanced search


Major Publishers of Physics Journals

The Merrill-Cazier Library provides access to journals from the major publishers of physics journals, including:

The Classic Books

You can find great recommendations for books from your faculty members or reputable lists:

John Baez. a mathematical physicist at UC Riverside hosts a physics booklist  list from  "sci.physics participants as the "standard" or "classic" texts on a wide variety of topics of general interest to physicists and physics students."  

Susan Flower has a site "So You Want to Learn Physics" that provides a list of the textbooks she used to teach herself physics, in case you are looking for another source on a topic.

Journal and Pre-Print Archives

A pioneer that contributed to the establishment of the open access movement, was originally started in 1991 at the Los Alamos National Laboratory.  Initially limited to physics, it has since expanded to include physics, mathematics, computer science, nonlinear science, quantitative biology, and statistics.  Researchers often upload their papers to the archive prior to their publication in peer-reviewed journals.  It contains over 500,000 articles.

Now hosted at Cornell University Library, the archive continues to grow and is supported by a number of on institutions, including Utah State University Libraries. This can be a great place to search since you'll find the full text of the articles within the database.

Reference Sources

Sources such as dictionaries, encyclopedias, handbooks, and manuals gather known information on topics and present it in concise manner.  If you need to find out basic background information on a topic, an encyclopedia is a great place to go (often an excellent place to start research).  Properties of materials and procedures are examples of information found in handbooks and manuals.  


USU Libraries Encyclopedias and Dictionaries (here are some general sources; there are specialized ones as well listed in the library catalog

Wikipedia. a good resource to get background information, but corroborate it with other sources and be careful using it as a source in a research paper (check with your instructor); using the sources in articles can be helpful

To find reference sources in the library catalog, use the Advanced Search.  Put the subject area you are interested in within the first box, and then in the next box put encyclopedia or dictionary or handbook or manual.  (If looking for a manual or handbook, you can change the search from Any Field to Subject  for a more precise search.)

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